This is one of eight DC archives I have bought and will review. The prices are sometimes great (I purchased this volume, new, for around twenty dollars, although the new prices seem to have crept up in the last few days).
The Justice Society was one of those organizations I knew in name only. It was long gone by the time I began reading comics, and further, in my earliest days of reading, I was a Marvel fan, not a DC fan. But a number of years back, Geoff Johns started a new run on the Justice Society, and it was a ton of fun. Also, more recently, Earth-2 has re-introduced a new version of the group. So, after discovering these archives at a local shop (and immediately dismissing them because of the cover price), I decided to look for them online, and here we are.
Before I begin reviewing the comics, let me speak of the physicals of the product. The book has the same dimensions as other volumes in the DC Archives. However, one thing I don't like is the paper stock. For the other volumes I've received (Batman vols. 2 and 3, and Hawkman vol. 2), the paper was a heavy, matted paper which really brought to life the restored comics. Here, it's still heavy, but it's glossy white paper. Not only does it pick up glare from light, but it also sticks together easily (be sure to store this in a dry place!) and it just feels cheap (even if it isn't - I don't work at Dunder-Mifflin or anything). My guess is that this is an early volume, and they changed the paper later.
Now, onto the content. It's fun stuff. The first incarnation of the society doesn't include Superman or Wonder Woman (even as "honorary" members). This group is The Flash, the Green Lantern, The Specter, Dr. Fate, Hourman, The Atom, Hawkman, The Sandman and some kid named Johnny that gets his wishes granted by...a magical thunderbolt? Yeah. The Atom might be the most hilarious character in comic history - as another review mentioned, he really is just a short guy with a lot of moxie. His stories are just ridiculous. The Sandman is probably my favorite character. I remember how much I hated him post-Gaiman (it was just silly to hear some guy in a gas mask talk about his travels in the Dreaming), but he's perfectly readable here. I also liked Hourman, but I couldn't understand why he had a restriction to his power (he only has super powers for one hour at a time). It never seems to come up in the comics, so what's the point?
The stories are...interesting. It's particularly humorous to hear the Justice Society protect freedom of speech...by beating the crap out of speakers in public who say things against the goverment. A different time, I suppose. I enjoyed the first issue printed (All-Star Comics #3), which introduced the members with individual stories. Also, there was plenty of 4th-wall-breaking fun. Issue #4 was a little too...totalitarian for my taste. "America loves freedom, and you better, too!" Issue #5 is great. Issue #6 was standard.
All in all, a great purchase for the price at which I found it, but I'm not sure it would merit a fifty-dollar price tag for anyone but the biggest fans. Enjoy!